Journal article in Science, Technology and Human Values. Development aid is (re)emerging as a new course for science and technology studies. For decades, established technologies were transferred from rich to poor countries and perceived as the key element in catalyzing economic and social progress. Today, more than sixty years after development cooperation was institutionalized among Western donors, technology plays a major yet fundamentally altered role. Contrary to the transfer of established technologies and hardware from developed to developing countries, contemporary technology aspirations center on “live” experimentation and innovation in developing countries.
In a new article in Science, Technology and Human Values, Adam Moe Fejerskov explores the new role of technology in global development, as it is advocated by private foundations and technophilanthropists, to understand how experimentalist technology aspirations aim to influence and structure human life and relations in the Global South. He problematizes these normative ideals for the role of technological innovation in society and in development cooperation, and argues that associated with this logic are a set of questionable consequences for local populations, challenging democracy, equality and social progress.